Friday, March 1, 2013

Jude 3-4

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

The “tink…tink…tink” of a hammer smacking a nail rang through the town and filtered through the beech trees of the nearby woods. A brown-cloaked monk stood at the large wooden doors on the front of the University Chapel of Wittenburg. Holding the paper with one hand and the hammer with the other, this truth-hungry monk had no idea what he was starting. It was late fall, a typically cool time of year, but more importantly than the weather, the coldness of the church-universal had finally reached a point of intolerability. The sale of purgatory-lessening indulgences had taken the church to a whole new level of unbiblical heresy, and this Bible-studying Augustinian could have no more of it.
Martin Luther was not looking for revolution, he was simply asking to debate the 95 points he had made against the sale of indulgences(Papal permission slips out of Purgatory). But reformation came like a flood, and truth-hungry friends in low and high places began to support this new mascot for biblical theology.
In his address to the young churches, Jude is encouraging this mentality in the church. Little truth-defending Martin Luthers should with boldness engage the heresy and deception that is creeping into the church. At times a church congregation can become like a lop-sided basketball team, with five all-stars (the pastor and deacons) who play all the time, and a whole room full of bench-warmers who view their purpose as just sitting the pew. It is seen as the job of the “trained” to engage others in truth, and the job of the “untrained” to remain unengaged from truth.
This just isn’t biblical. There is no reason that anyone, young or old, male or female, should not be engaging in active growth in and defense of the truth found in Scripture. It is not a job that is relegated to someone with the title of Pastor. It is the job of all who would take the title of Christian. Like the young monk of 1517, we each should take responsibility in our hand and choke up to the faith-contending duty to which we are called. It will only come with study. It will only come when we know the truth of Scripture. Now let us dive deep into the truth that God has given.

Food For Thought: What is the phrase that Jude uses to describe “fighting for what is right?”